Nurturing and growing your team is a never-ending process. And if it does end, you’re in trouble, because it means your team no longer cares to grow. That’s the beginning of stagnation. Like sitting water, your team doesn’t just stop growing and stay in place; they start to rot and eat away at all the standards, training, and culture that you’ve built. If a team isn’t motivated by growth, they’ll focus on other things that are negative and unproductive. A team that doesn’t have goals becomes wrought with gossip, cattiness, blame and complaining; hence, your work as your team’s leader is never done. You can either devote time to leading your team or spend time reprimanding them. The choice is yours. We don’t know about you, but we have very little patience for reprimanding.
Why is being a leader so important?
To be blunt, team members who aren’t in a growth-oriented workplace with good leadership won’t be around for long. In that environment a good team will be unfulfilled, and talented members will move on to other places that provide leadership and growth. The rest of the group will become infected with a spirit of gossip and negativity that has the potential to become so infectious throughout the office that you’ll end up firing those individuals. Look at it from a purely selfish perspective – after all the time you’ve spent hiring and training, do you really want to start all over? Which do you think would be a better use of time – helping a great team member continually find ways to grow, or starting all over interviewing, hiring, firing, and training every quarter?
Why is it my job to lead the team?
Leadership is not for everyone. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are a leader or well on your way to becoming one. The role is both a blessing and a curse. The curse is that you can’t stop being the leader that you are, even though there’ll be times in your career when you temporarily stop leading. Maybe you’ll be mentally exhausted, or in an atmosphere that doesn’t allow your leadership abilities to flourish; regardless, while you may choose to stop leading others for a period, you can’t ever stop being a leader any more than you can stop being a mom or dad, the glue for your family or a community advocate.
Don’t curse your gift as a leader. Doing so can show up as:
• “Why does everyone come to me, I have enough on my plate?” or
• “I’m tired of everyone leaning on me!” or
• “Is it me, or is everyone else either an idiot or just doesn’t care?” (Boy, have I said those things in the workplace!)
You can’t run away from your talents and responsibilities as a leader. Even if you try, it won’t fix your problem or make you happier. There have been many times that we’ve all wanted to quit our jobs or shut down our practices in order to get an easy and “stress-free” job where we could show up, do the work well and go home. We long for a job where we wouldn’t have to solve other people’s problems or take stress home, but alas, a leopard can’t change its spots. You would not be fulfilled in a job such as this. You can either embrace the leader you are, or find yourself constantly feeling unfulfilled.
If you’re a true leader, you’re a beacon in the night. No matter your role, you will draw people to listen to you because you ask the tough questions; in other words, you’ll motivate and lead. Others will be drawn to your innate ability to provide calmness and direction in the storm. If you’re really honest with yourself, you probably aren’t happy when you’re not leading. We’re not saying that you have to be a 1-800 help line or wake up at 2 a.m. stressing over things at work, but when leaders aren’t in a position to lead, they’re like a flower without sunlight. They’ll wilt, their colors will fade and the vitality that always shone brightly will waste away.
So, since you can’t rid yourself of this incessant need to lead, why not simply embrace it? Remember, it’s not only a curse, but a blessing, as well. Very few people have the gift to inspire others. You can. Look at the difference you make in other people’s lives. For example, take a single mother who you’re helping to build a career. You aren’t just helping her; you’re making a difference in her children’s lives too. Few people can provide calmness and confidence in times of change or uncertainty. You can. Remember all the people who you’ve helped keep the faith and not lose direction. Few people have the ability to truly make a lasting, positive impression on other’s lives. You do. Your ability to lead is a blessing. It only becomes a curse when you can’t balance the dependency of others with your own needs.
Are you ready for strategy on how to provide leadership for your team in a leveraged, structured manner that will allow you to produce results, while protecting your own time and focus? If so, click here to schedule a FREE 30 minute discovery call.